“Eventually, everybody quotes their mom.” I read that this morning and realized how true it was. Years ago, I noticed that I was making statements to my young children that had been made to me as a young child. Somehow, the instructions I received as a young person kept coming around in the form of instructions to the next generation. Mom has been home in Heaven for 2 ½ years (our time) but her influence in my life remains. I continue to be grateful for the godly example my mom was.
I’d like to take a quick look at a mom in Scripture who doesn’t get a great deal of notoriety, but who impresses me with her determination with respect to her child.
We don’t even know the woman’s name; she is simply called the Shunammite. We are told about her in 2 Kings 4 when she offers hospitality to Elisha, one of God’s prophets. He came through that area often and stayed with this couple every time he came by. They eventually even built a small guest room on the roof of their home so that Elisha would have a place to stay and sleep.
After some time, Elisha felt compelled to do something to return the kindness of this family. She seemed to offer no indication of anything that she wished to have from him, but Elisha’s servant mentioned that they were childless. Elisha called her and prophesied over her that a year later she would have a son. Though it seemed too good to be true to her, God overcame the natural inability of this couple to have children and she bore a son.
Years went by with the same pattern of hospitality and generosity toward the man of God until one day, the boy collapsed in the field while working with his father. The servants brought him to her and she cradled her son in her arms until he died.
The day was half gone but the woman mounted a donkey and had a servant lead her to where Elisha was. She explained the situation to him and he promptly sent his servant to lay a staff over the son, planning to bring him back to life. The woman didn’t leave Elisha’s side until he himself went back to the house. God rewarded her faith and her unswerving loyalty by bringing her son back to life. It’s an amazing story about a mom who honored God and saw the miraculous power of God in her life.
Can I draw a couple of thoughts from this passage of Scripture to give you some ideas about how to thank your mom this year?
1) This woman was gracious and hospitable. Does (or did) your mom provide for you and care for you with food and shelter? Does she often go out of her way to see that you are cared for? Seeing how this Shunammite woman cared for Elisha makes me think that she cared for her family in the same way.
2) The lady from Shunem was not in it for reward. When asked how she could be repaid, she offered nothing. The opportunity to serve was what she was after. Did your mom demonstrate a servant’s spirit? Appreciation goes a long way…
3) This woman went the extra mile. Getting her husband to build guest quarters on the roof of their home wasn’t necessary, but she didn’t stop with just the bare minimum. I expect she was the same with her family.
4) The lady experienced great loss but was unwilling to give up. She knew the power of God and knew what she needed to do to see it in her family’s life. There is every reason to believe that she anticipated a resurrection of her son. My mom never gave up on me as a kid. Was yours the same? Thank her for it.
Being a mom is often a thankless and unrecognized position. I want to thank each of you who is in that position for your sacrifice and your grace toward your family. We are grateful for you and for the incredible influence you wield in our lives…even if we don’t say it often enough.